“Be Confident Teachers” says a UNI Advisor

Iowa law says schools cannot start before August 23rd and next Wednesday will be the first day of school for more than half a million Iowa students. It will be the first day for new teachers, too. Jenny Connolly, an advisor in the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Education, says this is her first piece of advice to new teachers:

New teachers started developing classroom management skills during their student teaching experience when they were teaching alongside a veteran educator, but on that first day of school, they’ll be going solo.

Many new teachers have already been paired with a veteran teacher in the district who’ll be a mentor. Connolly says every teacher in a school building will be learning dozens if not hundreds of students’ names during the first few days of school.

Connolly says part of a teacher’s role in the first two or three days of the school year is helping students get used to the structure of the school day and, for older kids, spelling out the year’s academic expectations and how extracurricular activities will be handled.

UNI officials estimate at least 10,000 teachers in Iowa K-through-12 schools are UNI graduates. Last spring’s graduating class of educators was among the largest ever at UNI.


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